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Adapted from "Captain Aaron Frederick Beyer, Jr., United States Navy, Deceased"  [biography, dated 19 March 1958] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.
 

Adapted from "Captain Aaron Frederick Beyer, Jr., United States Navy, Deceased"
[biography, dated 19 March 1958] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.
Topic
  • Ordnance and Weapons
Document Type
  • Biography
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War II 1939-1945
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials
  • NHHC-Library

Aaron Frederick Beyer Jr.

1 December 1911-1 January 1976

PDF Version [1.7MB]

Captain Beyer was graduated from the Naval Academy with the Class of 1933, and was commissioned Ensign in the Naval Reserve on October 10, that year. He was subsequently employed as a Sales Engineer with Armstrong Cork Company and Gulf Refining Company until the National Emergency prior to World War II. In 1946 he was transferred from the Naval Reserve to the US Navy in the rank of Commander, and was advanced to the rank of Captain, to date from July 1, 1956.

Volunteering for active duty, he reported in July 1940 to Headquarters, Ninth Naval District, Great Lakes, Illinois. Three months later he was transferred to the Navy’s V-7 program at Northwestern University, Chicago, where he served as an instructor until January 1942. Enroute to England in February 1942, he reported aboard USS Impulse (at that time the HMS Begonia, a corvette) and served aboard as Executive Officer and Navigator until September of that year. After brief instruction at the Submarine Training Center, Miami, Florida, he commanded successively the US PC-589 (Atlantic), USS Wileman (DE22) and USS Raymond (DE 341) (Pacific). It was while he was aboard the Raymond that he was awarded the Navy Cross for heroism in the Battle off Samar Island on October 25, 1944, and is entitled to wear the Ribbon for the Presidential Unit Citation awarded Admiral C. A. F. Sprague’s Task Unit 77.4.3 for heroic action on that date.

Detached in December 1944 as Commanding Officer of the Raymond, he served during the latter months of the war on the Staff of Commanding Service Force, US Pacific Fleer, this followed by duty as Chief Staff Officer to Commander Transport Division 33. From February 1946 to July 1947 he had consecutive duty as Executive Officer of the USS Arthur Middleton (APA-25) and USS Okaloosa (APA-219), and after instruction at the General Line School in 1947-1948, served for two years as Recorder of the Board of Decorations and Medals, Executive Office of the Secretary of the Navy.

From August 1950 through September 1952 he commanded the USS Brinkley Bass (DD-887) and was twice awarded the Bronze Star Medal for exceptionally meritorious service in action against North Korea and Chinese Communist forces. In October 1952 he returned to Great Lakes for duty as Executive Officer of the Service School Command, Naval Training Center, and three years later reported to the Staff of the Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District, as Assistant Chief of Staff for Administration. On January 17, 1958 he assumed command of an ammunition ships, the USS Mt. Katmai (AE 16), a unit of the Service Force, US Pacific Fleet.

Promotions

Commissioned Ensign, USNR, 10/10/33

Lieutenant (jg), 8/19/40

Lieutenant, 6/15/42

Lt. Commander, 7/1/43

Commander, 7/20/45

Captain, to date from 7/1/56

Decorations and Medals

Navy Cross

Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”

Gold Star in lieu of Second Bronze Star Medal, with Combat “V”

Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon (Task Unit 77.4.3)

Naval Reserve Medal

American Defense Service Medal

American Campaign Medal

European African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four operation stars

World War II Victory Medal

Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp

China Service Medal (extended)

National Defense Service Medal

Korean Service Medal with five stars

United Nations Service Medal

Philippine Liberation Ribbon

Citations:

Navy Cross: “For extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of the USS Raymond, during action against major units of the enemy Japanese Fleet, in the Battle off Samar Island, October 25, 1944. When a formidable column of Japanese battleships, cruisers and destroyers attacked out small Task Unit of Escort Carriers, Commander Beyer closed on the hostile disposition and, skillfully maneuvering his ship to avoid crippling blows from the bombardment of enemy gunfire, launched a short-range torpedo attack, thereby diverting hostile fire from our almost defenseless carriers to his own ship…”

Bronze Star Medal: “For exceptionally meritorious service and gallantry in action while serving as Commanding Officer of the USS Brinkley Bass…in the Korean Area…while that destroyer was flagship of Commander Task Force 92…”

Gold Star in lieu of Second Bronze Star Medal: “For meritorious service in Korea from March 19 to April 1, 1952…”

Presidential Unit Citation to Task Unit 77.4.3: “For extraordinary heroism in action against powerful units of the Japanese Fleet during the Battle off Samar, Philippines, October 25, 1944. Silhouetted against the dawn as the Central Japanese force steamed through San Bernardino Strait toward Leyte Gulf, Task Unit 77.4.3 was suddenly taken under attack by hostile cruisers on its port hand destroyers on the starboard and battleships from the rear. Quickly laying down a heavy smoke screen the gallant ships of the Task Unit waged battle fiercely against the superior speed and fire power of the advancing enemy, swiftly launching and rearming aircraft and violently zigzagging in protection of (our) stricken vessels…With one carrier of the group sunk, others badly damaged and squadron aircraft courageously coordinating in the attacks by making dry runs over the enemy fleet as the Japanese relentlessly closed in for the kill, two of the Unit’s valiant destroyers and one destroyer escort charged the battleships point-blank and, expending their last torpedoes in desperate defense of the entire group, went down under the enemy’s heavy shells as a climax to two and one half hours of sustained and furious combat. The courageous determination and the superb teamwork of the officers and men who fought the embarked planes and who manned the ships of Task Unit 77.4.3 where instrumental in effecting the retirement of a hostile force threatening our Leyte invasion operations…”

Chronological Transcript of Naval Service

Oct 1933 – Jun 1940 USNR (Inactive)

Jun 1940 – Sep 1940 9th Naval Dist. (Personnel)

Sept 1940 – Jan 1942 “V-7”, Northwestern University, Chicago, Ill. (Instructor)

Feb 1942 – Sep 1942 USS Impulse (Executive Officer)

Sep 1942  - Nov 1942 SCTC, Miami, Fla. (student)

Nov 1942 – Feb 1943 PC 589 (CO)

Feb 1943 – Apr 1943 SCTC, Miami, Fla. (Instructor)

Apr 1943 – Jan 1944 USS Wileman (DE 22) (CO)

Feb 1944 – Dec 1944 USS Raymond (DE 341) (CO)

Jan 1945 – Jul 1945 ComServPac Staff (Personnel)

Aug 1945 – Dec 1945 Trans Div 33 (Chief Staff Officer)

Feb 1946 – Sep 1946 USS Arthur Middelton APA 25 (XO)

Sep 1946 – Jul 1947 USS Okaloosa APA 219 (XO)

Jul 1947 – Jun 1948 General Line School Newport, RI (student)

Jun 1948 – Jun 1950 EXOS-Navy Dept. Board of Decorations and Medals Washington, DC (Recorder)

Aug 1950 – Sep 1952 USS Brinkley Bass (DD 887) (CO)

Oct 1952 – Sep 1955 Service School Comand, USNTC Great Lakes, Ill. (XO)

Oct 1955 – Dec 1957 Com 14, as Asst. C of S for Administration

Jan 1958 – USS Mt. Katmai (AE-16) (CO)

He died January 1, 1976. 

END 

Published: Mon Apr 06 09:35:41 EDT 2020